English car drivers can shoe-horn their cars into the narrowest of gaps. The ride through the Yorkshire Dales was sublime, but would have been more enjoyable if the roads had been dry. Car and truck drivers are quite courteous, flashing their indicators in thanks once they’ve overtaken a slower vehicle (usually me, but also slow trucks and OAP’s in cars). [OAP – Old Age Pensioner, as per English newspapers].
Scotland is a rider’s paradise. Beautiful scenery, great roads, minimal traffic – everything has been laid out perfectly for the appreciative rider. @#$%ing lot of point-to-point speed cameras though – talk about the fun police. Just watch out for mud on country lanes, often trampled in by herds of cows crossing the road.
Riding in Northern Ireland in spring-time is not for the feint-hearted. The combination of challenging roads and weather conditions make every ride a battle to be fought. The roads here are often very narrow. The ride across the steep and twisty Torr Road is the hardest sealed road I’ve ever ridden. I’ll try and post some photos and video later. Off-camber corners, roundabouts slippery as ice-skating rinks, Northern Ireland is like a textbook of riding hazards.
In Ireland the roads are wider, and many roads include an emergency/stopping/passing/turning lane, so slow traffic can pull to the side and let fast traffic go through. The lane divider markings on country roads are very visible, so it makes for easy riding, but watch out for directional signs painted in Limerick;s town centre – today we were on a two-lane, one-way road, and both lanes were marked to show that traffic could either go straight ahead or turn right. There are that many warning and information signs on the side of the road that they can become a distraction as you try and figure out what’s coming up and they read like the race notes for a rally car – “Road narrows to sharp right over humped bridge with elderly crossing on far side and prancing deer seen near major junction ahead”.
The 100 kmh speed limit on country lanes in Ireland can be a bit disconcerting – in W.A. roads with driveways opening up onto them probably wouldn’t be posted at anything more than 80 kmh and probably lower. In the wet I just stick to around 50-60 on these twisty roads.
250km in a day is often a full day’s ride. We’ve done a couple of 350+ km days and they are big day’s out.